With any type of server, security should be a priority and when moving to the cloud there are a few things to note to make sure you’re as secure as possible.
Choosing Cloud Products
- Virtualization software. By choosing a cloud server platform that is not reliant on any single base or parent operating system you lessen the chances that other virtual machines will impact your services and performance.
- Operating system patches and updates. It’s important to choose a cloud server platform, like Microsoft’s Hyper-V, that allows the user to have control of when important OS security patches and updates are applied. Some cloud services have to wait for a third party vendor to make the OS updates compatible with their virtualization software which can leave your server open to attack longer than necessary.
General Server Security Set-Up
- Strong passwords. This is not something to take lightly. Making your password ‘Password1’ will not ensure your security on the cloud. Choose a difficult password with capitalizations, numbers and characters throughout.
- Firewall ports. Only open ports on the firewall that need to be open. Keep the rest closed until needed.
- Turn off unneeded services and roles. If you leave services and/or applications running that you’re not using, this increases the attack surface for security breaches.
- Limit permissions. Make sure your server and web applications run on the lowest privileges required.
Ongoing (Application) Security
- Application updates. Keep up-to-date on patches and application upgrades. Application vulnerabilities are often discovered after code is released so it’s important to keep your applications as up-to-date as possible.
- Antivirus. Using an anti-virus solution will help protect your server from malicious software which can potentially compromise important client data or cause performance issues.
- Monitor logs. By monitoring your server logs you will be able to see patterns or unwanted activity that might spark a red flag and allow you to catch something before it’s too late.
- Secure new applications. By using SSL (a Secure Socket Layer, a protocol for encrypting information over the Internet) you can protect information while it’s in transit.
Most fears of cloud servers come from security issues but what some don’t realize is that issues mostly stem from insecure or misconfigured applications, and not the cloud itself. For more information and details on cloud server security, please visit https://appliedi.net/windows-cloud-server-promo.aspx.
If you’re thinking about moving to the cloud don’t let security fears hold you back. Right now Applied Innovations is offering Windows Cloud Servers for only $29.95 with an opportunity to get $120 off during the first three months. This includes back-up, antivirus and 24/7 support. For more information visit: https://appliedi.net/blog/basic-tips-for-a-secure-cloud-hosting/.
Nathalie Vaiser, MCP, MCTS, C|EH
Virtualization Program Manager